Category: e-commerce

How Do Big Tech Giants Make Their Billions?


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


A Breakdown of Big Tech Revenue Streams

How Do Big Tech Giants Make Their Billions?

In 2021, the Big Five tech giants—Apple, Amazon, Google (Alphabet), Meta, and Microsoft—generated a combined $1.4 trillion in revenue.

What are the sources of this revenue, and how does it breakdown?

Below, we’ll dive into the main ways that these big tech giants generate revenue, and take a look at how much their revenues have increased in recent years.

Breaking Down Big Tech’s Revenue Streams

As we’ve mentioned in previous editions of this graphic, there are two main ways that big tech companies generate revenue:

  • They either sell you a product
  • Or sell you as the product to advertisers

Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon fall into the first category—like most traditional businesses, these companies offer customers a physical (or digital) product in exchange for money. More than half of Apple’s revenue comes from iPhone sales, Azure cloud services generate almost a third of Microsoft’s total, and Amazon’s online stores account for nearly 50% of the company’s revenue.

On the other hand, Meta and Alphabet do things a bit differently. Rather than selling an actual product, these two tech giants make most of their money by selling their audience’s attention. Nearly 98% of Meta’s revenue comes from Facebook ads, and 81% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising on various Google products.

However, despite their varying ways of generating sales, these companies all have one thing in common: revenues have soared in recent years.

The Pandemic Has Sped Up Growth

Amidst rising unemployment and pandemic-induced (Read more...)

The Rise of Functional Food: What Investors Need to Know



The following content is sponsored by Billy Goat Brands (CSE: GOAT) (“GOAT”)

functional food

The Rise of Functional Food: What Investors Need to Know

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are looking for new ways to use food as medicine in a bid to help protect them against disease. As a result, the functional food market is booming.

But is it just the buzzword du jour, or a growth market that investors should seriously consider?

The infographic above from Billy Goat Brands (CSE: GOAT) (“GOAT”) breaks down the key points that investors need to know about how the market is structured.

Functional Food: The Basics

To start, let’s explain what functional food means.

Functional food is an umbrella term that describes food that has a positive impact on your health, beyond its basic nutritional value.

Take oatmeal for example. It contains soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Therefore it is considered to be a food that is functional. Benefits of these foods may include things like:

  • Protecting against disease
  • Preventing nutrient deficiencies
  • Promoting growth and development

Some foods also have nutrients added to them to enhance their nutritional profile, such as milk with added Vitamin D, and therefore provide the same benefits to consumers.

While there is much debate around the official definition of the term functional food, the most important thing to remember is that they are foods that have added benefits—either natural superfoods, or enhanced during the production process.

Let’s dive into the market on a (Read more...)

The World’s Biggest Startups: Top Unicorns of 2021


This post is by Omri Wallach from Visual Capitalist


The World’s Biggest Startups: Top Unicorns of 2021

Many entrepreneurs start businesses around the world, but only the most successful new companies become “unicorns”—the biggest startups with a valuation above $1 billion.

Some unicorns are little-known companies making quiet but impactful strides in software, healthcare, automotive, and other fields. Others have already become well-known industry leaders, like aerospace manufacturer SpaceX and game developer and publisher Epic Games.

In total, there are more than 800 unicorn startups globally. That said, this visualization specifically hones in on the world’s decacorns (unicorns with valuations above $10 billion) as of December 2021 according to CB Insights.

Private Startups Valued at Over $10 Billion

The world’s most prominent unicorns constantly see their valuations change as they enter different rounds of funding or maturity.

In December 2021, there were 35 startups with a valuation above $10 billion, spread out across different countries and industries.

CompanyValuationCountryCategory
Bytedance$140BChinaArtificial intelligence
SpaceX$100.3BU.S.Other
Stripe$95BU.S.Fintech
Klarna$45.6BSwedenFintech
Canva$40BAustraliaInternet software & services
Instacart$39BU.S.Supply chain, logistics, & delivery
Databricks$38BU.S.Data management & analytics
Revolut$33BUKFintech
Nubank$30BBrazilFintech
Epic Games$28.7BU.S.Other
Chime$25BU.S.Fintech
FTX$25BChina (Hong Kong)Fintech
BYJU's$21BIndiaEdtech
Xiaohongshu$20BChinaE-commerce & direct-to-consumer
J&T Express$20BIndonesiaSupply chain, logistics, & delivery
Fanatics$18BU.S.E-commerce & direct-to-consumer
Yuanfudao$15.5B (Read more...)

Index leads $12.2M seed in Sourceful, a data play to make supply chains greener



Supply chains can be a complex logistical challenge. But they pose an even greater environmental challenge. And it’s that latter problem — global supply-chain sustainability — where UK startup Sourceful is fully focused, although it argues its approach can boost efficiency as well as shrink environmental impact. So it’s a win-win, per the pitch.

Early investors look impressed: Sourceful is announcing a $12.2 million seed funding round today, led by Europe’s Index Ventures (partner, Danny Rimer, is joining the board). Eka Ventures, Venrex and Dylan Field (Figma founder), also participated in the chunky raise.

The June 2020-founded startup says it will use the new funding to scale its operations and build out its platform for sustainable sourcing, with a plan to hire more staff across technology, sustainability, marketing and ops.

Its team has already grown fivefold since the start of 2021 — and it’s now aiming to reach 60 employees by the end of the year.

And all this is ahead of a public launch that’s programmed for early next year.

Sourceful’s platform is in pre-launch beta for now, with around 20 customers across a number of categories — such as food & beverages (Foundation Coffee House), fashion and accessories (Fenton), healthcare (Elder), and online marketplaces (Floom and Stitched) — kicking the tyres in the hopes of making better supply chain decisions.

Startup watchers will know that supply chain logistics and freight forwarding has been a hotbed of activity — with entrepreneurs making waves for years now, promising (Read more...)

Logistics startup Stord raises $90M in Kleiner Perkins-led round, becomes a unicorn and acquires a company



When Kleiner Perkins led Stord’s $12.4 million Series A in 2019, its founders were in their early 20s and so passionate about their startup that they each dropped out of their respective schools to focus on growing the business.

Fast-forward two years and Stord — an Atlanta-based company that has developed a cloud supply chain — is raising more capital in a round again led by Kleiner Perkins.

This time, Stord has raised $90 million in a Series D round of funding at a post-money valuation of $1.125 billion — more than double the $510 million that the company was valued at when raising $65 million in a Series C financing just six months ago.

In fact, today’s funding marks Stord’s third since early December of 2020, when it raised its Series B led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and brings the company’s total raised since its 2015 inception to $205 million.

Besides Kleiner Perkins, Lux Capital, D1 Capital, Palm Tree Crew, BOND, Dynamo Ventures, Founders Fund, Lineage Logistics and Susa Ventures also participated in the Series D financing. In addition, Michael Rubin, Fanatics founder and founder of GSI Commerce; Carlos Cashman, CEO of Thrasio; Max Mullen, co-founder of Instacart; and Will Gaybrick, CPO at Stripe, put money in the round.

Founders Sean Henry, 24, and Jacob Boudreau, 23, met while Henry was at Georgia Tech and Boudreau was in online classes at Arizona State (ASU) but running his own business, a software development firm, in Atlanta.

Over time, Stord has (Read more...)

Printify bags $45M, led by Index, to ride the custom printing boom



The creator economy loves merch which is great news for on-demand custom printing startups such as Latvia-based Printify — today it’s announcing a $45 million Series A round, led by Index Ventures, off the back of rising demand for its services.

The mission: To keep growing its global marketplace of print shops to meet rising demand for custom wares, shipped.

Also participating in the funding round: H&M Group, Virgin Group, plus the founders of Transferwise, Vinted, Squarespace, RedHat, and entertainment industry investors including Will Smith’s Dreamers VC and NBA player Kristaps Porzingis.

TechCrunch understands Printify’s post-money valuation is just over $300M.

Ecommerce and creator-focused platforms like Patreon and Shopify — which cater to micro-brand creating individual sellers (be they designers, content creators, ecommerce entrepreneurs or other highly online hustlers) — are helping to fire up demand for custom products like t-shirts, mugs, stickers etc, expanding the market for on-demand printing and shipping.

Printify says it’s now connecting some two million merchants with print providers all over the world — and shipping a million units per month.

It’s also grown to employ close to 500 people — doubling its headcount over the past year, now with a plan to add a further 200 positions by the end of the year.

“Our main audiences are creators, entrepreneurs; most of our merchants are people who want to build a side-business and earn money in addition to their main income, however, we also see a high growth of creators and entrepreneurs who use Printify (Read more...)

E-commerce aggregator Rainforest raises $20M just months after its last funding



Four months after its last funding announcement, Singapore-based e-commerce aggregator Rainforest has closed a $20 million pre-Series A round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures. Other participants included January Capital, Crossbeam Venture Partners, Amasia and Lo & Behold Group, along with returning investors Nordstar and Insignia Venture Partners.

Rainforest announced in May that it had raised $6.55 million in equity and a $30 million debt facility to fund acquisitions. The company says its latest raise means it now has more than $50 million to spend on acquiring e-commerce brands.

Founded by former Carousell and Fave executives, Rainforest buys mostly Asia-based Amazon brands and wants to become the e-commerce version of consumer goods conglomerate Newell Brands.

Co-founder and chief executive officer J.J. Chai told TechCrunch in an email that Rainforest raised funding again because it’s doubled its portfolio since the last round and also has “a number of sizable acquisitions in the pipeline.” The company originally intended to raise about $8 million to $12 million to add to its seed round, but increased that amount to $20 million because of investor interest, he added. In addition to brand acquisitions, the funding will also be used on hiring and building its tech infrastructure.

Chai said Rainforest raised only equity this time because it hasn’t finished using the debt facility it got from Accial earlier this year.

Since launching in January 2021, Rainforest has acquired six brands, including (Read more...)

Cajoo raises $40 million for its instant grocery delivery service



French startup Cajoo is raising some money in order to compete more aggressively in the new and highly competitive category of food delivery companies. Interestingly, the lead investor in today’s funding round is Carrefour, the supermarket giant. Headline (formerly e.ventures) is also participating in the round as well as existing investors Frst and XAnge.

Carrefour’s investment isn’t just a financial investment. Cajoo will take advantage of Carrefour’s purchasing organization. This way, Cajoo will be able to offer more products to its customers.

Cajoo is part of a group of startups that try to create a whole new category of grocery deliveries. The company operates dark stores and manages its own inventory of products. Customers can then order items without having to think whether they’ll be home when the delivery happens. Around 15 minutes later, a delivery person shows up with your groceries.

The startup competes with Getir, Gorillas, Flink, Zapp and a few others. It also indirectly competes with traditional retailers and their online ordering systems.

“It’s a category that is incredibly capital intensive,” co-founder and CEO Henri Capoul told me. “We own the entire value chain. If we want to expand, we have to launch hubs, we have to buy products.”

With $40 million on its bank account, Cajoo now wants to solidify its strong market position in its home country. The service is currently live in 10 French cities — Paris, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Levallois-Perret, Boulogne-Billancourt, Lille, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Montpellier.

And yet, the company is (Read more...)

Forum Brands secures $100M in debt financing to acquire more e-commerce brands



Forum Brands, an e-commerce acquisition platform, announced today that it has secured $100 million in debt funding from TriplePoint Capital.

The financing comes just just over two months after the startup raised $27 million in an equity funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners.

Brenton Howland, Ruben Amar and Alex Kopco founded New York-based Forum Brands in the summer of 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’re buying what we think are A+ high-growth e-commerce businesses that sell predominantly on Amazon and are looking to build a portfolio of standalone businesses that are category leaders, on and off Amazon,” Howland told me at the time of the company’s last raise. “A source of inspiration for us is that we saw how consumer goods and services changed fundamentally for what we think is going to be for decades and decades to come, accelerating the shift toward digital.”

Since we covered the company in June, Forum Brands says it has acquired several new brands, including Bonza, a seller of pet products, and Simka Rose, a baby-focused brand specializing in eco-friendly products. Simka sells in the U.S. and the EU and is an example of how Forum is expanding globally, Amar said.

Howland and Amar emphasize that the Forum team continues to focus on quality over quantity when evaluating potential acquisitions. Although they meet with 15-20 founders a week, they are selective in which companies they choose to acquire.

“We continue to be a quality-first buyer, and (Read more...)

Trustshare runs escrow infrastructure as a service to facilitate online sales



Meet Trustshare, a London-based startup that is working on escrow infrastructure for online classified, B2B marketplaces, trade directories and more. It’s a white-label platform that can be integrated with online marketplaces in just a few lines of code.

If you’ve ever tried to sell something expensive on the web, you know that it’s hard to know for sure that you’re not getting scammed. For instance, that person that is trying to buy your old phone from you — should you send the phone first or ask the buyer to send the money first?

If a marketplace relies on Trustshare for payments, buyers first have to checkout and leave money into a dedicated transaction-based account. Trustshare can also handle identity verification steps, such as KYC and AML checks (Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering). The seller can check the status of the funds. Once the buyer has received the product, they can release funds to the seller.

Behind the scenes, Trustshare generates a dedicated IBAN per transaction. Customers can deposit money using bank transfers or cards. In the U.K. and Europe, Trustshare takes advantage of open banking regulation so that users can connect to their bank account from the checkout flow.

If you don’t want to tweak your site’s code, you can also use Trustshare for offline sales and transactions that happen over email or messaging apps. The company lets you generate QR codes or payment links to initiate a payment.

The startup has raised an angel round from several (Read more...)